Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive treatment method used to treat intense and chronic musculoskeletal pain. This may include pain due to degenerated tendons, heel pain, or tennis elbow among others. Human bodies crave movement, otherwise we would not be able to attend to most of our day-to-day needs. But due to some health conditions we can experience pain in the muscles that are responsible for our body support and stability.
The process involves delivering a mechanical pressurized force, or shockwaves, to the body. The use of shockwaves is not new in treatment. For about quarter a century, similar treatment methods have been used to break up kidney stones in patients without the patients having to undergo surgery. It was during kidney stones treatment that it was also discovered that the shockwaves also treated unrelated aches and pains.
This has resulted in machine designs that have been created to use shockwaves on other parts of the body to treat pain. The shockwave is commonly used to treat pain in the foot. But it is also used in other major areas where connective tissues attach to the bone. This may include the shoulder, elbow, hip, and knee.
In shockwave therapy, a gel is applied in an area and the non-invasive probe is placed on the skin. The gel is used to help conduct the shockwaves. Focus is given specifically to the concerned area. A pressure charge is applied which in turn creates an energy or force on the tissue to stimulate certain components of the body. When this energy is applied to the body, it causes inflammation and improved blood flow. These in turn makes the body naturally repair and heal itself.
- Surgery Substitute
It can be used as a substitute for surgery. This means that you heal faster than if you opt for surgery or any other invasive method.
- Fast healing
The therapy will give you results almost immediately after treatment, which is about one to two weeks. Therefore, it is easy to determine its effectiveness and whether you need to seek alternative forms of treatment. However, there are some treatments that can take longer.
- Easier Diagnosis
Unlike surgery, the patient can also actively participate during the treatment where they can pinpoint areas that are painful to notify the physician.
This is an outpatient procedure, so even when you need to undergo therapy for a longer period, you do not have to stay in hospital.
The therapy may also heal other types of pain that you may not have known their source. The therapy stimulates the natural healing process, which can be an answer to chronic pains in your body. For instance, Shockwave therapy not only helps in healing the bone, but it is also used to treat stress fractures and the dead portion of the bone.
- No severe side effects
Shockwave therapy has not shown to have any lasting side effect; this means there is minimal chance to interact with other medical conditions. Mild effects have been reported though which include tingling, redness and aching but they are relatively short lived.
Shockwave Therapy Precautions
It’s also important to note that shockwave therapy should not be used in case of bone tumours, certain circulation disorders, metabolic bone conditions, and certain nerve disorders.
The procedure should also not be used in pregnant women.
If the bone is still growing, it may be affected by the shockwaves.
It should also not be used in an area where there is an infection.
The therapy should not touch on areas where there is gas or air is present in the body.
Also, notify your therapist if you have any medical condition to determine if it can react with this procedure.
Shockwave Therapy Considerations
When you go to see a physician, he/she may recommend the use of shockwave therapy, but for you to undergo this process you will have to be considered responsive to the therapy. Before you decide to take shockwave therapy, it is important to consider other cheaper alternatives and other forms of treatment such as surgery and various invasive methods first. Also, ensure that you understand the procedure well. Presently, there are no contraindications associated with this procedure.